Los Angeles (AFP) – Los Angeles Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers, the first openly gay male athlete to play in a major North American sports league, announced his retirement on Tuesday.
Rogers, 30, confirmed his retirement in a statement released through the Galaxy, ending a professional career that spanned 11 seasons and included stints in England, the Netherlands and Major League Soccer.
Rogers has not played since suffering a season-ending ankle injury in May which left him with nerve damage requiring surgery.
“It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from the game of soccer,” Rogers said.
“It is through this game that I have experienced some of my greatest achievements both professionally and personally and I am forever indebted to the numerous individuals — coaches, teammates, staff and fans — that have helped me during this journey.
“I will remain deeply connected to this sport and its surrounding community.
“I leave the game full of pride of what I have accomplished as a person and a player. I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life.”
Rogers netted 15 goals and had 24 assists in 184 career MLS games (160 starts) with the Columbus Crew (2007-11) and Galaxy (2013-17).
The fullback won two MLS Cups in 2008 and 2014 and two MLS Supporters Shield trophies in 2008 and 2009.
He also earned 18 caps with the US men’s national team.